Minagawa Shigekatsu

皆川成勝

Minagawa Clan

Sengoku Daimyō

Shimotsuke Province

Lifespan:  Unknown to 2/26 of Tenbun 20 (1551)

Rank:  bushō, sengoku daimyō

Title:  Governor of Yamashiro

Clan:  Minagawa

Father:  Minagawa Muneshige

Children:  Toshimune, Matagorō, Nobuhide

Minagawa Shigekatsu served as a bushō and sengoku daimyō during the Sengoku period.  He served as the head of the clan and the lord of Minagawa Castle in the Tsuga District of Shimotsuke Province.

During the Eishō era (1504 to 1521), Shigekatsu was born as the eldest son and designated heir of Minagawa Muneshige.  In 1523, his father, Muneshige, was killed in action at the Battle of Kawarada.  Thereafter, Shigekatsu became the next head of the Minagawa clan.

In the era of Shigekatsu, the Minagawa served the Utsunomiya clan.  At the coming-of-age ceremony for his eldest son, Minagawa Toshimune, Utsunomiya Toshitsuna served in the honorary role to place black-lacquered headgear on him.  By serving the Utsunomiya, Shigekatsu was able to protect the Minagawa from the neighboring Mibu clan, members of the Utsunomiya family who were expanding their power in the area.

During the Tenbun era (1532 to 1555), Utsunomiya Toshitsuna clashed with a senior retainer named Haga Takatsune in an internal conflict known as the Tenbun Discord.  Shigekatsu joined with his cousin, Tomida Tadamune (the lord of Tomida Castle) to back Takatsune and opposed the Utsunomiya clan.

After the discord subsided, Shigekatsu once again served the Utsunomiya clan and, when Mibu Tsunakatsu came into conflict with Utsunomiya Toshitsuna, he allied with Toshitsuna.  Together with Tomida Tadamune and the Nishikata who were members of the Utsunomiya family, he attacked the Mibu clan.

Shigekatsu died in 1551.  The family temple is at the Kendō Temple in Fukasawa in the Tsuga District.